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The World's Most Bizarre Competitions

People love to compete against one another, it's an essential part of human nature. However, not everyone is happy to settle for the standard sports, games and quizzes. This list of bizarre and brilliant competitions from around the world prove that we really will create a competition out of pretty much anything...

1. Wife Carrying

I am not sure how many ladies would agree to this but the Wife Carrying Championships draws competitors to Finland every year.  The track is 250 meters and there are numerous obstacles to pass along the way. One of the rules of the competition states all entrants must have insurance!

The World's Most Bizarre Competitions
Source - Flickr Shehla Z

2. Gurning

These competitors obviously didn't listen to their parents when they told them not to pull faces at people! The World Gurning Championships reward the people who can distort their faces into the most hideous positions possible but it is actually considered an ancient English art with tales of competition dating back as far as 1267.

Gurning Competition
Photo - Ben Russell

3. Cheese Chasing

Ambulances are on stand-by for this event which takes place in Gloucester, England every year.  Competitors chase a 9lb wheel of cheese down a steep hill, with the first over the finishing line taking home both the cheese and the prestige (as well as a few injuries no doubt).

Cheese Rolling
Source - metro.co.uk

4. World Beard and Moustache Championships

Here's one for the hairy men out there.  Forget the inconvenience of shaving every day and let your facial hair grow, it might just win you a prize!  That's as long as you are prepared to put some serious effort in to shaping it.

The World's Most Bizarre Competitions
Photo - www.speigel.de

5. Toe Wrestling

Toes are not just for standing on at these annual Championships in Derbyshire, England. The rules are similar to arm wrestling, the aim is to 'pin' your opponent's toe.  It's also common courtesy to remove your opponent's shows and socks before a match.  Let's hope they all scrub their feet first!

The World's Most Bizarre Competitions
Source - Chillisauce

6. Worm Charming

Worms can be a pest in the garden so it's good to tempt them out from under the ground so that we can see them. These competitors have turned this form of pest control into a competition - each person is assigned their own section of ground and the one who brings the most worms to the surface, wins.

The World's Most Bizarre Competitions
Source - www.wormcharming.com

7. Baby Jumping

This Baby Jumping Competition takes place in the Spanish Village of Castrillo de Murcia every year.  The concept is pretty simple - place a number of babies on the floor and local men wearing bright clothes will hurdle over them.  But exactly who is volunteering their precious children for the event?!?

Baby Jumping Competition
Photo - Sally Hanreck 

8. Cockroach Racing

Most of us run away from cockroaches whenever one scurries near us so we are aware of their ability to move quickly.  Australians have decided to use that speed in competition, with crowds turning out every year to watch roaches race!

The World's Most Bizarre Competitions
Source - Paul Schaublin

9. Ostrich Racing

Us humans can't really mount a cockroach and take part in the race ourselves, but Ostrich Racing is much more interactive!  That said, the ostriches are rarely obedient so only brave riders are prepared to risk injury and compete.

The World's Most Bizarre Competitions
Source - www.kentucky.com

10. Crying Baby Competition

If jumping over babies sounds a bit too energetic for you, you can always enter the Crying Baby Championships in Japan.  Unfortunately you do have to be a trainee Sumo Wrestler to enter and the first one to make their assigned baby cry is the winner. It is said to bring the babies good health!

The World's Most Bizarre Competitions
Source - www.dailymail.co.uk

11. Rock, Paper, Scissors

Rock, Paper, Scissors may just be a little game most of us used to settle playground disputes as children, but for some it is serious business.  There is a World Championships every year, bringing together national champions from around the globe. There is even a website with in-depth discussions of 'tactics'.

The World's Most Bizarre Competitions
Source - www.priceonomics.com

12. Stinging Nettle Eating

Yes, you have read that correctly - there really are people who eat stinging nettles in the name of competition. The entrants chomp away on the leaves for an hour before the remains of the nettles are counted.  The 2014 winner ate an amazing 80 feet worth of nettles!

Stinging Nettle Championships

Source - www.countrylife.co.uk



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